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Tim Cook admits it’s “not cheap to do” an iPhone Xs

By Jules Wang September 18, 2018, 2:45 pm

Designed in California, assembled in China, pricey all over.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was interviewed on ABC’s Good Morning America and wasn’t worse for the wear. The executive was able to tout the two million jobs the company has been able to create in the United States and talk about how Apple products have been exempted from import tariffs in spite of a trade war between the US and China. Funny enough, few components are manufactured domestically as many of them are contracted out to factories across Asia.

On the matter of the latest round of iPhones, though, host Robin Roberts expressed some concern that “a group of people are being priced out” of a phone coming from what Cook had just said was “a deeply American” company. Roberts asked the man the same question last year, by the way.


Here’s his response, which is also reminiscent of the one he gave last year:

Well, we want to make an iPhone for everyone. That’s always been our objective and we’ve got several iPhones in the line and [the prices] go down to materially lower…

But if you look at this phone, it’s the most advanced iPhone we’ve ever done. It has an unbelievable camera in it […] and it has the smartest and most powerful chip ever in a smartphone.

But the way most people for these, as it turns out, is they do a deal with a carrier and they pay so much per month. And so, if you look at even the phone that’s priced at over a thousand dollars, most will pay about $30 a month for it. And so it’s about a dollar a day.

And so if you look at it, the phone has replaced your digital camera — you don’t have a separate one anymore — it’s replaced your video camera, it’s replaced your music player. It’s replaced all of these different devices, it’s replaced your video player. And arguably the product is really important and we found that people want them to have- they want to have the most innovative product available and with that, it’s not cheap to do that.

Roberts interjected with the notion that Apple has always been about making “the best” product and Cook echoed the sentiment.

From the excerpt, it’s pretty interesting to see how Cook minimizes the cost while subsequently admitting that the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are “not cheap.” He also reduces the price down to a daily rate, which is nice to think about when comparing it to coffee or tea. However, Cook also describes it as a revolutionary tool nearly to the point of being vital — such as a car or a living space — and, thus, also brings into the frame the fact that an iPhone may have to compete with the next rent payment. And that’s if a given consumer has the credit to amortize $999 or more in full.

You can see more of the interview, including discussion about the electrocardiogram feature on the Apple Watch Series 4, in the video embedded below.


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